Sunderland University

Me and my friend went to Sunderland University yesterday to turn up in a lecture as speakers. Sunderland is about half an hour south of Newcastle.
Well, that’s what we thought and how it was described to us and looked on the map.
However, we didn’t expect this major traffic jam, which seemed the last 50 kilometres seem like a 007 snail race.
Luckily we dropped of the hitchhiking PhD philosophy student at the service station, good luck to him!, and made our way to this brand-new media building sponsored by Sony.
Another astonishing thing actually is: I can speak for three hours nearly uninterrupted if I can speak about the things I am passionate about, and especially if it is at a university, where the students don’t have any chance to run away from my rant.

It started off when Mitzi mailed to Indymedia Scotland, asking if anybody from Indymedia would like to come and speak to her students in a lecture about alternative media and how Indymedia differs from mainstream media. She also stated, that she was involved in Spunk Press and in Maximum Rock’n Roll.
We probably wouldn’t have come if she would not have told us about her involvement in both projects.
So, it was a great pleasure and we could talk as freely as we wanted, giving some incredible statements and in turn getting unexpected, unbelievable answers.
One of the most unexpected answers possibly was: “did you ever consider writing the stories from the police’s point of view?”.
Sadly enough, this was after 3 hours of ranting on why alternative media gives a different point of view than the authorities’.
Well, maybe she just wanted to piss us off? Or maybe she really doesn’t understand. Maybe what we forgot is also, that most of the people there are really, really young.

Anyway, we showed Undercurrents video about Alterative Media, called “Globalisation and the Media”.
It is quite a good video for journalist students and “normal people”, who ask the questions: “What is alternative media?” or even “What is wrong with the mainstream media?”.

After that we went on a rant, I talked a bit about how we did out Bolivia feature and similar. Micah jumped in and Mitzi and her husband Steve helped us out whenever we lost our plot.
Finally, we showed the Woomera 2002 video, made by Ska TV.
If you don’t know this video, it makes you shiver with anticipation and emotions are running high. In my opinion, it is one of the best films of what can be called “Alternative Media”, at least the first 30 minutes. When the politicians come in later, it becomes a bit painful.

Somehow, I just wondered, that even though I am not travelling my life seems to be remotely exciting, at least for me.
Tomorrow I am meeting up with this incredibly smiley guy from Napier University filmmaking course, who is expected to mentor me for going in front of the panel Saturday morning, judging my doc film idea (The Channel4Ideasfactory competition).

Also, tomorrow, there will be “our” website presentation, which will be incredibly bad, because “my team member” was not prepared to meet with me to sort out the website presentation. Everything I did was not good enough for her, the pictures, the images I choose and cropped, when I suggested something she just overruled me. She was not prepared to leave any work for me because she considered only herself to be able to be unfailable and unmistakenly.
Anyway I am really pissed off now with her, after sitting in the course for one day not being able to do anything, because the half-prepared project was on her home computer and not accessible for me.
Anyway, I am now thrilled how she is going to present this “teamwork” tomorrow. The funny thing is, the teamwork before, she was paired up with an older man, and she complained that “he wasn’t giving her any ideas, just sitting there and saying nothing”. In retrospect, I admire this older man, I am sure he had the right strategy working with her.

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